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Driver in fatal crash that injured soccer star had alcohol: Police

The driver of a car involved in a fatal crash that critically injured a forward on the U.S. national soccer team told police that she had consumed alcohol before the October accident, according to court papers made public Thursday.

Charlie Davies, 23, suffered two fractures in his right leg and badly injured his bladder in a one-car accident on the George Washington Parkway about 2:30 a.m. Oct..13. Another passenger, Ashley J. Roberta, 22, of Phoenix, Md., died in the crash. (Soccer fans interesting in discussing this story should visit The Post's Soccer Insider blog.)

The driver, who has not been identified by police, suffered minor injuries.

Charlie Davies. (AP Photo)

A U.S. Park Police detective wrote in the court papers that the driver told police that she drank alcohol before the crash and officers smelled alcohol on her breath. The driver, Davies and Roberta were last seen about an hour before the accident at a D.C. establishment that serves alcohol, the detective added.

The court documents were filed in the District’s federal court seeking permission from a judge to allow investigators to analyze an airbag sensor and GPS unit that were in the car, a 2004 Infiniti FX35.

Park police had hoped that the devices would contain data, including the Infiniti’s speed and route, that might explain what happened, according to the detective, Scott Powers.

In court papers also made public Thursday, Powers wrote that investigators were not able to recover data from the airbag sensor and that the GPS unit was being analyzed.

Police said the Infiniti, registered to the driver’s mother, struck a guard rail in the southbound lanes of George Washington Parkway near Boundary Channel. The car was cut in half in the crash, police said. Roberta was found near the car, police said, and Davies was pulled from the wreckage.

In the court papers, detectives said the driver told officers that she was making an adjustment to her GPS unit when Roberta yelled, “Watch out!”

The driver swerved to the right and struck the guard rail, police said.

Police found no evidence of braking before the crash and a 113-foot tire rut in a grassy area leading to the guard rail, Powers wrote.

The detective added that investigators believe the car was going faster than the 40 mph speed limit.

Sgt. David Schlosser, a spokesman for the U.S. Park Police, could not be reached for comment.

-- Del Quentin Wilber

By Washington Post Editors  |  December 17, 2009; 5:50 PM ET
Categories:  Del Quentin Wilber , Virginia  
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Because I can see no comments, I will ask the obvious question. How do you cut an SUV in half by skidding nearly 40 yards into a guard rail?

Sorry if there's already 50 comments in the same vein.

Posted by: jbfromfc | December 17, 2009 11:50 PM | Report abuse

I apologize, I did not know that there were legal reasons for keeping the matter private. I read that just after. I did not intend to breach the police policy. Please delete my comment.

Posted by: Bgregory1 | December 18, 2009 11:33 AM | Report abuse

I'd be interested in knowing what those legal reasons are for not disclosing the name of the driver. Before I read your comment, I was going to say, "Why shouldn't the name of the drunk driver who killed one person and critically injured another be identified?" The choice she made to drink and drive is synonomous to picking up a loaded pistol, in my opinion. Inevitably, someone is going to get killed or hurt.

Posted by: gitouttahere | December 18, 2009 11:55 AM | Report abuse

gitouttahere: Where in this article does the writer state that the driver was drunk or illegally intoxicated?

I believe it's around 6th grade when we're taught context and critical thinking. Apparently you missed that year..

I do not have any inside knowledge of this incident, only what I have read in the papers. This story states the fact that the driver consumed alcohol. I blame the writer a little for not clarifying the important difference between "consumed alcohol" and "illegally intoxicated". This may also imply the possibility that she had one drink at the bar, was a responsible designated driver, and made a driving error. Eventually, when the full investigation is released we'll know better about the facts, until then don't jump to conclusions.

Posted by: Irishnb9 | December 18, 2009 1:14 PM | Report abuse

the driver was a very small girl..about 110 lbs. it would only take about two drinks for her to be over the legal limit

Posted by: ripajr | December 18, 2009 3:31 PM | Report abuse

she was seen taking shots at the bar

Posted by: ripajr | December 18, 2009 3:32 PM | Report abuse

gitouttahere: All I know is that when I read the sports blog article that this author links to, it said police did not release the name because its an ongoing investigation and police may press charges. I'm not sure what about that still means the name cannot be released.
To the person who questioned whether the driver was drunk, for me it IS a time to make assumptions- who ISNT drunk and only makes a small error yet splits a car in half where you should only be going 40mph?

Posted by: Bgregory1 | December 18, 2009 5:06 PM | Report abuse

I'm just worried something fishy is going on, because so little is being released it seems almost like an inordinate amount of focus is going in to protecting the driver identity. It feels like- is this going to end in a cover-up? The driver was well-to-do and I'm worried the right strings are being pulled. I just hope they took a real breathalyzer test.

Posted by: Bgregory1 | December 18, 2009 5:08 PM | Report abuse

her daddy is rich....shes lucky

Posted by: ripajr | December 18, 2009 7:04 PM | Report abuse

"she was seen taking shots at the bar". ripajr this is Ashley Roberta's mother. Could you please contact me privatly concerning Maria's alcohol consumption the night of the accident. My email address is

Posted by: janrayroberta | December 22, 2009 8:42 AM | Report abuse

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